Attack of the Clones is in the mix to be the most-disliked film in the franchise, and it is my personal least favorite. As a passionate Star Wars fan, I am immediately up for watching any installment at any time; only Episode II falls below that line. The prospect of seeing Anakin’s childish pining after Padme and terrible dialogue makes me cringe.
It is certainly not all bad. Obi-Wan’s storyline is excellent, from meeting up with Dexter Jettster to interacting with the younglings at the Temple to everything with Jango Fett, Kamino and even Count Dooku. Christopher Lee brings an excellent performance when he is allowed on-screen, a suave politician playing both sides. The final 40 minutes of the film – from arena fight to epic battle to Yoda v. Dooku – are great.
But the lows are as low as they get, too. None of the chemistry of the original trilogy’s main cast is present with Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman. Perhaps we should be thankful that Kenobi goes out on his own for most of the movie.
In the end, Attack of the Clones stumbles more than it soars, and the worst parts are enough to jar the viewer out of a galaxy far, far away. The devoted Star Wars fan may be able to focus on the good, but for most the bad taste of the low points will hang with them the longest. There is plenty to enjoy, but this is not Star Wars’ shining moment.